What to do with 5 gal. of Lith A & B....

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ic-racer, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I got two of those 5 gallon cubes of generic Lith A and B developer for free when I picked up an enlarger from a print shop that was going out of business. I'd hate to throw it out. Maybe this is the excuse to try some lith printing.

    Another possiblility would be to see if it works just as a standard paper developer.
     
  2. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I'd recommend trying some lith. It is great fun.
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Just did a quick search on lith printing and there are a number of sites that cover the basics.

    This is what I gathered in fifteen minutes of searching:
    1) Mix the developer 9:1 rather than 3:1
    2) Avoid paper with incorporated developer
    3) Overexpose 2 -3 stops
    4) Have a good CD in the player
    5) Get a 'torch':confused:

    We don't use torches that much out here in the midwest states unless we are 'all riled up in a frenzy' :surprised: or running to the Olympics, so I will substituted a Mini-Maglight with a red gel.:tongue:
    http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e289/doctor_roxtar/mob1.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2008
  4. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Good find for you. Yeah, 9 to 1 is a good place to start, with maybe a teaspoon of sodium sulfite and a half teaspoon of potassium bromide. Or salt. First session is usually a bust, because the stuff in the developer that produces the infectious development takes time to build up. Therefore, save all your old developer for next session. (Have to re-add sodium sulfite, but not bromide, as there will be plenty already there.) Heating the developer to 90f also helps, if you have a heat pad. And wear some gloves. Have fun!
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You could always send some to me... :smile:
    Lith is supposed to be had fun with, so use it! I have been using a very simple lith developer from Freestyle called Arista Lith. It's a single gallon kit and it takes forever to use up.
    When I mix it, I usually make 3.2 liters. 1.5 liter water + 100ml part A and then another 1.5 liter water + 100ml part B. Then I mix those two solutions together.
    I second the notion that the first printing session might be a bit dull. But after you save some of the 'old brown' and add it to your fresh developer, you'll get more interesting results. Sounds like you're on track. Keep in mind that it's more rare to find a paper that works well in lith than one that doesn't. Of the ones currently available, Foma Fomatone MG is great, Fomabrom gives some really gritty/grainy results that looks very interesting, Fotokemika Varycon (VC) and Fotokemika Emaks (graded) are awesome for lith but you have to be patient as they're slow. Most standard prints can be bleached and re-developed with lith chemistry if you want to see what goes on while the lights are on.

    I also warm my lith developer up, but only to 75-80*F. It really speeds things up.

    Have fun!

    - Thomas
     
  6. roy

    roy Member

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    Try it but wear a hat when you do as you may feel like tearing your hair out from time to time if you do not have patience ! When it comes right, it is very addictive because it can naturally produce a lovely range of tones in your prints and, quite often, these can be further modified with toning. Be sure to make notes of your dilutions etc.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Thanks to people sharing the formulas on the internet, I was able to get some good results. A little beginner's luck also.

    I used just what I had available and that was Forte FB MG paper. I wound up cutting it to 4x5" thinking that if they don't turn out I can throw them away like test prints. But if they work, 4x5" is still a reasonable size for Minox enlargements.

    These are the first 3 that I did. No test prints (these were the test prints). I thought they looked pretty good so I went and gave them a good wash for permanence.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v670/ic-racer/Minox1.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v670/ic-racer/minox2.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v670/ic-racer/Minox3.jpg

    I have been shooting Minox since 2002 and I think I now have a good way to print the images.
     
  8. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Nice stuff for a first effort. I would consider using a 12:1 dilution instead of 9:1 (I use Fotospeed LD20, BTW). I personally like it this way because it slows the infectious development down just a little, so it's a bit easier to get that black density you really want. Gives you a little bit more room for error than 9:1, which makes the blacks come up really fast and which can be sometimes frustrating for a beginner.
     
  9. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    You are certainly on the right track. Thanks for sharing those.
     
  10. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    Great start! It seems to me that Minox negatives would be perfect for lith. The extreme enlargements would start you of with inherently larger grain. Interesting and way cool.
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Lith and beginners...

    I'm just teaching my child 'real' photography, so I have an extra enlarger set up in the darkroom. Since I had the lith developer out already, I thought I would try lith printing . To me it seemed like this would be a good combination, because it is difficult to explain paper/exposure reciprocity and the test prints to a child. Whereas it is easy to just blast the paper with an exposure then develop it until you can see the picture.

    This worked very well. We made no test prints and, like photograms, 'every one was a winner.' We didn't throw out any of the prints. Very positive experience for both of us.